Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

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Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.” Mark 1:30-31

An elderly Christian I once knew had multiple health problems, the worst being his heart, which caused him pain and shortness of breath. As a young man, he’d been a country preacher, and for several years he was the chaplain at a tuberculosis sanatorium. He loved to talk about the “olden days,” and I loved to hear his stories!

Though Brother Neal lived with constant suffering in his final years, he never complained. He kept looking for ways to serve and encourage others, both large ways and small. He did more than always greet everyone with a friendly smile; when it came time to move into assisted living, he found a struggling young couple who needed a place to live and sold them his small house below market value, carrying the note for them.

Neal went home to be with the Lord several years ago, but his example of a servant’s heart still encourages and inspires me today, especially in my health struggles. Simon Peter’s mother is another example that reminds me I can be of use to God’s Kingdom no matter what my physical state is.

When we’re sidelined by illness or other trials of life, we shouldn’t allow it to keep us from serving God and one another in every possible way. Even if it’s just the encouragement of a friendly smile.

You never know who will benefit from the faith you show, especially when things are not the best at the moment. You can always be used by God. It just may be the healing you need as well.

Lord, help me to love you and your people so much that, like Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, my desire is to serve rather than make excuses why I can’t. Amen.

By Katy Huth Jones
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Katy Huth Jones Thoughts by Women

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Jesusset aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death, and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:7-8 MSG).

Let’s follow his example. Let’s “put on the apron of humility, to serve one another
(1 Peter 5:5 TEV). Jesus entered the world to serve. We can enter our jobs, our homes, our churches. Servant-hood requires no unique skill or seminary degree. Regardless of your strengths, training, or church tenure, you can.

Love the overlooked. Jesus sits in your classroom, wearing the thick glasses, outdated clothing, and a sad face. You’ve seen him. He’s Jesus.

Jesus works in your office. Pregnant again, she shows up to work late and tired. No one knows the father. According to water-cooler rumors, even she doesn’t know the father. You’ve seen her. She’s just like Jesus.

When you talk to the lonely student, befriend the weary mom, you love Jesus. He dresses in the garb of the overlooked and ignored. “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me you did it to” (Matthew 25:40 MSG).

You can do that. Even if your sweet spot has nothing to do with encouraging others, the cure for the common life involves loving the overlooked. You can also.

Wave a white flag. We fight so much. “Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from” asks the brother of Jesus. “Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves” (James 4:1 MSG). Serve someone by swallowing your pride. One more aspect of servanthood…

Every day do something you don’t want to do. Pick up someone else’s trash. Surrender your parking place. Call the long-winded relative. Carry the cooler. Doesn’t have to be a big thing. Helen Keller once told the Tennessee legislature that when she was young, she had longed to do great things and could not, so she decided to do small things in a great way. Don’t be too big to do something small. “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort
(1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG).

A good action not only brings good fortune, it brings God’s attention. He notices the actions of servants. He sent his Son to be one.

When you and I crest Mount Zion and hear the applause of saints, we’ll realize this: hands pushed us up the mountain too. The pierced hands of Jesus Christ, the greatest servant who ever lived.

By Max Lucado
used by permission

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thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men